Musing Again

Self has to hot-foot it to airport in a few hours (Hubby and brother-in-law arriving at 6:18, according to latest PAL update). In the meantime, self is at home, relaxing by watching British telly. A show called “You Are What You Eat.” A thin blonde woman with a somewhat Anne Coulter-ish look (egad!) berates a somewhat overweight mother for “food abuse” — seems the mother is too busy to cook for her three children and feeds them fastfood. Blondie is so appalled that she can’t stop repeating over and over, “That’s disgusting! Disgusting!” Poor overweight mum stands there with head bowed, looking completely humiliated.

Which is exactly the kind of thing Dearest Mum used to say to her youngest sister, who also had three kids, and who was raising them in California without the benefit of maids.

And — here it comes! — self has to plead guilty to same tactic, because she too raised son on a diet of Burger Kings and Round Table Pizza.

There! She’s said it! Are you happy now, dear blog reader? And the reason self and hubby had such a hard time when we were traipsing around Europe in 1996 was that son was always asking for McDonald’s, McDonald’s, McDonald’s, and thank God there was one of these next to the Tower of London, but they were pretty scarce in southern Spain, let me tell ya, and finally we located the only Burger King in all of southern Spain (in Mojacar, right by the beach, but it was spelled “Burguer King” and played Miami Sound Machine day and night), which saved son’s life.

Anyhoo, last night, the last thing self remembers watching before falling asleep (She stayed up later than usual because all her nerve-endings were still tingling from Gail Tsukiyama’s fantastic reading at the Redwood City Downtown Library) was Chef Gordon Ramsay’s “Kitchen Nightmares,” and here was yet another case of an irate Brit chewing out a hapless nobody, in this case quite a fetching young woman who was trying her hand at managing a trendy restaurant her father had financed. Anyway, there was Chef Ramsay going, “You’re fucking stupid!” And the young woman saying, “I didn’t come here to be abused” (or something to that effect). And without further ado the young woman just picked up her stuff and left.

It may have been painful for the young woman but it was really riveting theatre. Self doesn’t know why, but everything on British television seems so much rawer than what she sees on American television. Is it because the likes of Bobby Flay would never be permitted to call anyone on a show “fucking stupid”???

Oh, and let’s not forget the one time self caught a BBC segment on an American platoon in Iraq. In the segment, which self saw several months ago, a BBC cameraman filmed a young American soldier (couldn’t have been more than 25) yelling at a line of old old bearded men in loose Iraqi robes, all of them staring at their feet while the American yelled: “You’re liars! All of you! You keep saying, it’s at the next village, and the next village, and the next village! And it’s always at the next village! And I’m going to stand here and yell until you tell me the truth!”

And all the old men did was stare at their feet, looking extremely mournful.

OK, self knows she would never have witnessed such a scene — not on American TV, at any rate.

And now self would like to say that she is so extremely tired of her hair.

There was a time, dear blog readers, when self’s hair was her crowning glory. The time she lived on the lower East Side in New York City, it was curly and long and looked just like Andie McDowell’s. Of course, self’s hair in reality is as straight as a stick, but at least then it was thick enough to take perms, several times a year, and self just loved that wild and tousled look. Every time she walked down a Manhattan avenue she could feel her hair winging about in the wind. Oh, to be young again in New York City, or at least to possess such hair!

And now, let’s see, self has tried everything: Nioxin for thinning hair. Kerastase for thinning hair. John Frieda collection for thinning hair.

And it all began waaaay back in 1991, when self was at Lenox Hill Hospital, attending to her very sick sister, and an uncle came up behind her and said, out of the blue, “Looks like your hair is thinning.”

Now why, in God’s name, do Filipino men do this? Self means, why do they need to point out various aspects of a female’s appearance? Such as: “You seem to have gained some weight.” Or, “Your face looks longer now than it used to.” And in a hospital intensive care ward, of all places? Like, the thinning hair is as important as what is happening at that very moment to self’s sister?

Are Filipinos really so shallow?

And before she can proceed further, self already knows what the answer is.

Stay tuned, dear blog reader, stay tuned.

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2 responses to “Musing Again”

  1. 1. I raised my oldest on McDonald’s when I was finishing my bachelor’s degree at Harvard Extension and there was no time to cook. Add pizza in to that. She is now an organic vegan.

    2. My hair is 1/3 of my daughter’s…all four of them. I remember how it filled a fist and broke hairclips. Alas….

    3. I don’t know why certain people must call attention to one’s looks. One time, someone said, “Sayang, you WERE so beautiful. At least you have a husband.”

    Sigh. A very dear husband who does not care about thinning locks or morphing person. However, no one EVER says, “You are SO MUCH SMARTER now, or you are SUCH A GOOD COOK!”



  2. Kathleen!

    When I celebrated my 23rd birthday, I was a graduate student at Stanford. I threw a picnic in one of those little parks next to the grad student high-rises. All the guests were Filipino grad students. One of them, a really brilliant guy, asked me how old I was. “I said, 23.” He said: “Two more years.” I asked: “Two more years of what?” He said: “Two more years of being in your prime.”



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